It was a foregone conclusion that Apple would be releasing a watch today at the company's event at the Yerba Buena Center, but we weren’t sure if there would be time for anything else (ha ha!). However, the company did in fact squeeze in something besides just the new timepieces: there are new MacBooks coming as well.
Instead of going with a Broadwell i5 or i7 like with the MacBook Air, the new MacBook will start with a 1.1GHz Intel Core M that sips 5W of power. It will come standard with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of solid state storage, and it will start at $1,299. An upgraded 1.2GHz Core M CPU (which will boost up to nearly 3Ghz under load) and 512GB of storage will run $1,599. The new models are expected to start shipping on April 10, and they even come in three colors: Space Gray, Silver, and Gold.
As rumored, The new MacBook—which appears to be called just that, the "MacBook"—features a 12-inch 2304x1440 pixel "Retina" display. The screen is .88 mm thick and has a total of 3.3 million pixels. Unlike the MacBook Air, the MacBook's display has glass on it, edge to edge.
The trackpad has been redesigned, featuring a new set of features Apple collectively refers to as "Force Click." The trackpad has the same glass surface as before, but beneath it are four pressure sensors and a "taptic feedback" mechanism, similar to the one on the Apple Watch. Pressure can now be incorporated into clicks and gestures.
It also has just one type of port: a USB Type C port on one side that will handle power, data, and everything else. This makes it the first Mac laptop in many years to not have a MagSafe connector for power. While the MacBook includes Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac for wireless connectivity, it's hard to see the scarcity of plugs as a good thing for customers who might have even a single peripheral they want to connect—once you plug in the power adapter, you're out of plugs.
But Apple appears to have done what it can to keep the power on—the logic board (Apple-speak for "motherboard") takes up a comparatively tiny amount of the MacBook's interior volume. As you might expect, the rest is all battery—"terraced, contoured" battery, according to Phil Schiller. Apple says the new MacBook will last "all day," with nine hours of Web browsing and 10 hours of iTunes movie playback.
There's an all-new keyboard, too—the keys are larger than on previous Apple portables, and they have been redesigned with a "butterfly" operational mechanism that better distributes the force and load of typing out to the edges the keycaps, where fingers are more likely to strike. Each key should be about 40 percent thinner than a regular scissor-actuated key, and they all have their own individual LED backlights.
Physically, the new MacBook is 24 percent thinner than the previous MacBook Air, with a height of 13 mm at its thickest point. The reworked interior, smaller exterior, and thin display all weigh about 2 lbs. Rather than replacing anything in Apple's lineup, the MacBook will join the existing MacBook Airs and the MacBook Pros in Apple's portable lineup.